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I'm sceptical about the provenance, here. It seems terribly sketchy. The "order book" seems telling but if the music shop is so cooperative why not at least a photo of the entry? Something smells distinctly fishy here, to me. I think some of the the words at near end of the item description are a straight quote from liner notes or something similar - i've definitely heard some of it before. For me, that doesn't inspire confidence. Also, i'm no expert on flutes of this vintage but i'm a little surprised that Dolphy was playing something so "high end" (if he was) - the gold lip-plate must make this a pretty expensive item at the time (if he "ordered" it) ??
 

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Hi RootyTootoot,

I was certainly skeptical at times over the last couple days, but I've made enough phone calls and emails to people that are in a position to know, that I'm satisified that this is indeed Dolphy's Powell flute. If you're interested, I've posted my findings here:
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay.html
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay-update.html
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay-cont.html
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay-update-iii.html

I'd still very much like to know how this flute left Coltrane, wound up in the Northwest and is now on eBay.

-Bob
http://www.fluteplayer.net
http://www.usedflutes.com
 

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I'm pretty sure that Dolphy played a plateau flute, but can't find a picture or verification at the moment...
 

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bobafifi said:
Hi RootyTootoot,

I was certainly skeptical at times over the last couple days, but I've made enough phone calls and emails to people that are in a position to know, that I'm satisified that this is indeed Dolphy's Powell flute. If you're interested, I've posted my findings here:
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay.html
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay-update.html
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay-cont.html
http://www.fluteplayer.net/2007/07/eric-dolphys-flute-on-ebay-update-iii.html

I'd still very much like to know how this flute left Coltrane, wound up in the Northwest and is now on eBay.

-Bob
http://www.fluteplayer.net
http://www.usedflutes.com
Thanks, Bob. I'll look at this stuff. All the best.
 

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I believe that the "2100" is not the Serial Number, but the model number. Do a Google search for "Powell 2100" and you'll see what I mean.

The only problem is all the Powell 2100 model flutes I have seen have pointed key arms, not y-arms. So I guess the case is still open!
 

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It looks like it is being sold without any documented provenance, so unless there is proof re: "The Powell shop has confirmed this." anyone would be well advised not to pay over the market value for this flute. Even if you believe the seller, you may want to sell it one day so unless there is something in writing that provenance may be worthless.

I'm also confused about the claim the 2100 is a serial number.

Bob, sounds like you have spoken to the seller, is that right?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Pete,


I've spent a ton of time on this - believe me! :)
Yes I've heard back from the seller and much as I'd like to have wrote this off as a fraud, I'm 100% convinced it's genuine. Here's why:

1.) For starters, the serial number checks out. Call or email Powell.
2.) The flute was NOT part of the 2005 Guernsey auction (this was the point that had me most concerned because if it was part of the famous auction, it conflicted with the sellers story).
3.) Seller has 100% positive feedback and with over 100 transactions - that's a good sign.
4.) Flute is the right make (Powell) and model (Y-Arm keys, B foot) as well documented (Dolphy's insurance form) and supported by photos of him playing.
5.) Photos of Dolphy's flute in the auction are against the same back drop as the Nagahara headjoint he's selling.

Again, what I can't seem to find out is HOW it got to be on eBay. The seller does not seem to know (or isn't telling) how his eighty year old pupil acquired the flute twenty years ago somewhere in the Northwest (obviously not from Coltrane!).

-Bob
http://www.fluteplayer.net
http://www.usedflutes.com
 

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I'm wondering, just wondering, if the Coltrane Estate may have traded it for some of the studio recordings he (Coltrane) did in Seattle?
 

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If this is genuine, and it leaves the States and gets locked in someone's cupboard as part of a private collection (and these things could happen here), it just feels terribly wrong.
 

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Hi RootyTootoot,

I know at least two professional jazz flutists (both here in California) that are planning to bid on this. My hope of course is that one of them wins it! :)
(really, it should be in a museum for all to enjoy).
 

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Anybody know Dolphy's setup on alto?

I hope deserving folks get that fine Powell flute, and play the crap out of it.
 

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I remember back in 1990 or so I was down here in LA (didn't live here at the time) doing a gig. I looked in the LA Weekly and saw an instrument ad that caught my eye. It stated, and this was a long time ago so I may be fuzzy on the details, that Eric Dolphy's bass clarinet was for sale for $5000 or trade for a five digit mark vi tenor. I called the guy and he claimed to be Dolphy's cousin or brother or some such and it was indeed Eric Dolphy's axe. Well, I didn't have 5k for a bass clarinet nor did I want to trade a five digit selmer for one but I did want to see it an play it. Anyway, it turned out to be the real deal. It wasn't playing very well (leaked like a sieve) but it was in good condition. I seem to remember that the same horns - of course, not owned by ED - were selling for about half that.
Do any other Angeleno's who would have been around about then remember this?
 

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hakukani said:
Anybody know Dolphy's setup on alto?
Charles McPherson told me that when he was transitioning with Eric for Mingus that he was playing a SBA alto with a brilhart mouthpiece. I know that his last horn was a VI but I don't know the piece he used.

By the way "The Hawaiian Gary" is hilarious.
 
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